Los Angeles’ longest-serving television news director, City News Service’s overnight editor, the news director of radio station KCSN and the OC Weekly’s editor are among those who will be honored by the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
SPJ/LA’s Distinguished Journalist award winners — ABC7’s Cheryl Kunin Fair, KCSN’s Keith Goldstein, CNS’ Jacques Clafin, OC Weekly’s Gustavo Arellano and Michelle Levander, editor-in-chief of ReportingonHealth.org — will be honored at a dinner Thursday night at the Hilton Universal City.
The chapter will also recognize longtime courtroom sketch artist Mona Shafer Edwards for her contributions to journalism at its annual banquet.
SPJ presents its Distinguished Journalist awards to journalists who “demonstrate good news judgment, a strong sense of ethics and a passion for getting the story right.”
Fair (television) has been with Channel 7 since 1994 and was the only female news director in the station’s history. She has overseen an influx of technology at the station, including the area’s first high-definition helicopter camera, the first regular HD newscasts and field reports, and the use of the only locally owned live radar in Southern California. She was promoted last month, when she became president and general manager of KABC-TV.
Goldstein (radio) has been news director at KCSN since 1987, leading his student staff at Cal State Northridge to hundreds of national, state and local awards. He created a six-part series on domestic violence that earned top prizes from the Los Angeles Press Club and the Associated Press.
Clafin (print — circulation over 90,000) has led CNS’ overnight report for nearly two decades. He was also a Pacific Division editor and foreign editor at United Press International, and worked as a correspondent in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, covering the Yom Kippur and Rhodesian wars.
Arellano (print — circulation under 90,000) writes the nationally syndicated “Ask A Mexican” column and has authored two books. He is also a lecturer at Cal State Fullerton and a consulting producer on the Fox animated show “Bordertown.”
Levander (new media) is the founding director of The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships at the USC Annenberg School of Journalism and editor-in-chief of its website, ReportingonHealth.org. She previously reported in Asia, Latin America and the United States for Time Magazine Asia, the Asian Wall Street Journal and the San Jose Mercury News.
Edwards has become an institution in courtrooms when cameras are not permitted inside. Her sketches have been featured on innumerable local newscasts, network broadcasts and shows, including “Entertainment Tonight” and “20/20.”
—Staff and wire reports